A Date With History


AP United States History students use project based learning to better grasp the concepts taught in class. 

AP US history is more of a project based class and the biggest project the class has done so far is speed dating. Each student is given the role of a significant person during the post revolutionary war era and they go around the classroom and discuss how they changed society with their classmates. “It helped me relate to the material more,” said junior Claire Goyer. “I actually understood who the people were and how the impacted the society.” 

Goyer was assigned Dorothea Dix, a strong advocate for better treatment of the mentally ill. “I really liked researching her,” said Goyer. “What she did was really important and it should be taught more.”

This project also allows for students to be creative in how they present their person. Each historical figure is supposed to bring a prop that represents themselves and something significant they did. Props can range from something simple such as a band-aid or a leaf to something complicated such as a demonstration of a cultural dance. 

Junior Olivia Rubin was assigned Charles Grandison Finney, a religious reformer, and she used a set of rosary beads as her prop in class. “I understand the material much better now because I was able to be so hands on,” said Rubin. 

After the students met everyone in the class, they picked matches, people who had similar beliefs or were active in similar reforms. The next task is to write a date card of what they would do. 

Joseph Smith, also known to eighth period as junior Abigail Hooper found many dates to choose from. “It helps give relevance to who was who and why they were important,” said Hooper. 

This project ends off the unit and teacher Lynn Ewald uses it as a major part of the review.